Because of Bethlehem (Study Guide)
: Each year, the Christmas season compels people to ask the Christmas questions. What's the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? Of all the responses to...
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Each year, the Christmas season compels people to ask the Christmas questions. What's the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? Of all the responses to these questions, there is one that stands out from the rest: Because of Bethlehem, God knows what it is like to be a human. When we talk to God about our challenges, our struggles, and our tough times, he understands, because he's been there. He's been here.
Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven. We have a Savior in heaven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the king on the cross. Because he did, there are no marks on our record, just grace. Because of Bethlehem, we have the promise God is always near us. Always for us. Always in us. We may forget him, but he never forgets us.
No day is accidental or incidental. No acts are random or wasted. Just look at the Bethlehem birth. A king levies a tax. Joseph is forced to travel. Mary, as round as a ladybug, bounces on a donkey’s back. The hotel is full. The hour is late. The event is one big hassle. Yet out of the hassle, hope was born. Christmas reminds us that "everything works together for the good of those who love God" (Romans 8:28). And long after the Christmas guests have left, the carolers have gone home, and the lights have come down, that promise endures.
God Has a Face (chapters 2, 4) Worship Works Wonders (chapters 5, 6) God Guides the Wise (chapters 7, 8) Every Heart Is a Manger (chapters 11, 12)
Max Lucado loves words - written, spoken - it does not matter. He loves to craft sentences that are memorable, inspiring and hopefully life-changing. In almost 25 years of writing, more than 65 million books filled with his words have been sold.
Max is the only author to have won three Christian Book of the Year awards - in 1999 for Just Like Jesus, in 1997 for In the Grip of Grace, and in 1995 for When God Whispers Your Name. In 2005, Reader's Digest magazine dubbed him 'America's Best Preacher' and in 2004, Christianity Today magazine called him 'America's Pastor.' The product line for 3:16 - The Numbers of Hope sold more than four million units worldwide, including one million units of the book of the same title (released in September 2007), making it the fastest selling Lucado product in his career.
His works have appeared on every major national bestseller list including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and Christian Booksellers Association. He has been featured in countless media outlets and national broadcasts.
Max's writings have been published in a wide array of formats including adult books, gift books, children's titles, Bibles, commentaries, calendars and devotionals. He is also the author/creator of Max Lucado's Hermie and Friends brand family, one of the most popular animated DVD series in the marketplace, with more than 5 million units sold to date. His words have also inspired a branded line of greeting cards and gift books for Hallmark/Dayspring that has sold more than 15 million copies since its 2001 debut.
Max Lucado is a Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, where he has served since 1988. He has been married to Denalyn Preston Lucado since 1981, and they have three grown daughters - Jenna, Andrea and Sara and one son-in-law, Brett.
Birth Place: San Angelo, Texas
Graduate: Andrews High School, Andrews, Texas
BA Mass Communications, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
MA: Biblical and Related Studies, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Associate Minister, Central Church of Christ, Miami, Florida
Church Planning Missionary, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Currently serving as a Preaching Minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas
Teaching Ministry of Max Lucado
In 1991, Max Lucado was presented the idea of developing a radio broadcast that focused solely on Jesus Christ. As a result, the vision for UpWords Ministries was born. Since that time, 'UpWords, with Max Lucado' has changed from a 15 minute, daily feature to an inspirational one minute message. Today, UpWords is heard in over fourteen hundred radio markets around the world.
Along with the inspirational radio program, UpWords provides a comprehensive library of full-length CDs as well as many downloadable audio files of Max's weekly sermons delivered to his home church in San Antonio, Texas.
UpWords exists for the sole purpose of encouraging others to take one step closer to Jesus Christ. The staff of UpWords is prayerfully dedicated to this purpose and is constantly humbled to see God's hand at work.